Thales and its partners have secured a contract amendment from the French defence procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) on the SCORPION programme.

DGA awarded the sixth contract amendment on SCORPION to the consortium, which also comprises Nexter and Arquus.

Under the latest contract, known as MEPAC, the partners will deliver 54 additional Griffon multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR).

The vehicles feature Thales’ 120mm Rifled Recoiled Mounted Mortar (2R2M) system.

With this delivery, the total number of Griffon vehicles on the SCORPION programme will reach 1,872 in accordance with the Military Planning Law 2019-2025.

Following the start of consultations in November 2018, Thales, Nexter and Arquus have worked with the DGA to design a new version of the vehicle concept with artillery capabilities.

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The 2R2M is already operational in four other countries and will provide added mobility and precision in front-line combat operations.

Additionally, the system will provide better protection for soldiers. It features a semi-automatic loading system and has been combat-proven in various theatres of operation.

In addition to structural modifications to the system architecture, the latest version will include key changes to the on-board optronics and mobility systems of the vehicle.

The vehicle’s rear compartment will be upgraded to accommodate the weapon system, mortar operators and the mortar rounds that are required on the mission.

The top of the vehicle can be opened or closed using roof hatches that will be installed.

Under the contract, the consortium will also provide substantial support and configuration management component.

The DGA will take delivery of the first vehicles by the end of 2023, after qualification of the MEPAC variant. The remaining deliveries will take place between 2024 and 2027.

In February 2018, DGA awarded a five-year contract to Safran Electronics & Defense to support the integration of land robot demonstrators for the French Armed Forces.